‘Sexy Dance 2’: Fans notice hilarious translations of Hollywood film posters in France

Film fans have expressed their joy over the practice of changing the titles of English-language Hollywood films to other English phrases for international audiences.

The online discussion began when Juan Buis, a writer and designer, shared a collection of movie posters in their original forms alongside their versions when advertised in France.

The thread, posted on Wednesday (8 March), shows Hollywood film titles alongside their French cinema equivalents – often not in French, as expected, but using English to create an alternative moniker.

“The French love to translate movie titles from English to... English,” Buis began his post.

“Here's a thread with my all-time favourites, starting with The Hangover... I mean VERY BAD TRIP.”

The 2009 comedy, starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms, is titled Very Bad Trip in France.

Other “translations” in the thread included The Other Guys becoming “Very Bad Cops”, Step Up 2 turning into “Sexy Dance 2” and Not Another Teen Movie being refashioned more straightforwardly as “Sex Academy”.

A more timely example came with the recently released Cocaine Bear; to French audiences, the film is known as Crazy Bear.

The thread, which has been viewed more than 10 million times, has led to other Twitter users chiming in with some of their favourite international film renamings.

Regarding The Hangover, a different Twitter user added: “In Hebrew, they called it ‘On the way to the wedding we stop at Vegas’.”

“I saw this once in a French video store and think about it every day,” wrote book editor Lucy Huber on the 1993 sports comedy Cool Runnings turning into “Rasta Rockett”.

Another user chimed in with an explanation for why films in English occasionally get renamed for non-English-speaking audiences.

“Original titles are usually meaningless to the average French guy. ‘Hangover’ for instance, doesn't mean anything to a French person even with a basic knowledge of English,” the user noted.

“‘Very bad trip’, however, is clear because it uses simple words everyone knows.”